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03 December 2017, 01:40 | Ross Houston
The Hwasong 15 missile launch
He added that "if low confidence in the missile's reliability is acceptable, two or three test firings over the next four to six months may be all that is required before Kim Jong Un declares the Hwasong-15 combat ready".
Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, made the projection in a post on the North Korea analysis website 38 North, based on newly released photos of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.
The initial analysis shows Tuesday's launch likely involved a two-stage missile with a non-explosive dummy warhead, the official said.
The country's state media announced the test on Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.
But South Korea said it expected Pyongyang to now pause its provocative missile testing programme, after the success of its new Hwasong-15 missile that can fly far enough to hit the USA mainland.
South Korean defence minister Song Young-moo expected North Korea to pause its missile testing after the successful launch.
Earlier on Thursday, Pentagon Chief James Mattis said that the USA intends to "tirelessly" seek to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue with the help of the United Nations and will make diplomatic efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the programs for the development of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery.
"Kim changed the launch time, direction and distance in order to display he has this great power".
Kim Jong Un watches the success missile launch
"The government does not think that North Korea's latest test demonstrated full capability for an ICBM, including the re-entry technology and a precision guidance system".
PyeongChang 2018 confirmed the number to Around the Rings in response to question about the security plan after the most recent intercontinental ballistic missile test by North Korea.
Meanwhile, Seoul's Unification Ministry played down Wednesday's provocation by the North.
Trump and Moon pledged to continue applying strong sanctions and pressure on North Korea to bring it to talks.
The ICBM, launched yesterday from Sain Ni, North Korea, travelled about 1000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
"The missile launched yesterday certainly was the most advanced one so far in all aspects, but the reentry technology has not yet been proven, and it is also uncertain whether the North has secured the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads", he told the US president, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously imposed a set of sanctions against North Korea on September 11 over the country's hydrogen bomb test which was conducted on September 3.
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